World No Tobacco Day.
1987 The Member States of the
World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day to draw
global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death
and disease it causes. The World Health Assembly passed Resolution
WHA40.38, calling for 7 April 1988 to be a "a world no-smoking day."
In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration
of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.
p.62) 70CE May 31,
Rome captured the 1st wall of the city of Jerusalem.
455 May 31, Petronius Maximus,
senator, Emperor of Rome, was lynched.
1433 May 31, Sigismund was
crowned emperor of Rome.
1469 May 31, Manuel I, king of
Portugal (1495-1521), was born.
1531 May 31, "Women's Revolt"
in Amsterdam: wool house in churchyard.
1594 May 31, Jacopo Tintoretto
(b.1518), Italian artist, died.
1621 May 31, Sir Francis Bacon
was thrown into Tower of London for overnight.
1634 May 31, Massachusetts Bay
colony annexed the Maine colony.
1665 May 31, Jerusalem's rabbi
Sjabtai Tswi proclaimed himself Messiah.
1678 May 31, The Godiva
procession, commemorating Lady Godiva's legendary ride while naked,
became part of the Coventry Fair.
1701 May 31, Alexander Cruden,
compiler of a concordance to King James Bible, was born.
1753 May 31, Pierre V.
Vergniaud, French politician, Girondin orator (guillotined in 1793),
1790 May 31, The US copyright
law was enacted.
1809 May 31, Composer Franz
Joseph Haydn died in Vienna, Austria on his 77th birthday. When
Napoleon’s armies marched into Vienna, the commanding general posted
guards in front of Haydn’s house to protect Haydn from trouble, and
a young officer was sent to sing for the old man.
(AP, 5/31/97)(WSJ, 1/8/98, p.A7)
1819 May 31, Poet Walt Whitman
(d.1892) was born in West Hill, N.Y. He became America’s national
poet with vibrant works such as 1855’s Leaves of Grass. His poems
included: "When Lilacs Last in the Doorway Bloomed." Some of
Whitman’s poems were inspired by his Civil War experience as a
hospital volunteer in Washington. Although a staunch supporter of
the Union cause, Whitman comforted dying soldiers of both sides, as
described in one of the poet's wartime newspaper dispatches: "I
stayed a long time by the bedside of a new patient.... In an
adjoining ward I found his brother...It was in the same battle both
were hit. One was a strong Unionist, the other Secesh; both fought
for their respective sides, both badly wounded, and both brought
together after a separation of four years. Each died for his cause."
(AP, 5/31/97)(HN, 5/31/98)(HNQ,
6/1/98)(V.D.-H.K.p.278)(HNPD, 5/25/99)(HN, 5/31/99)
1831 May 31, Captain John Ross,
English explorer, identified the magnetic north pole on the west
coast of the Boothia Peninsula, Netsilik territory.
1832 May 31, Evariste Galois
(b.1811), French mathematician who developed a general theory of
equations, died from wounds suffered in a duel. In 2005 Mario Livio
authored “The Equation That couldn’t Be Solved: How Mathematical
Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry."
1836 May 31, HMS Beagle
anchored in Simons Bay, Cape of Good Hope.
1837 May 31, Astor Hotel opened
in NYC. It later became the Waldorf-Astoria. John Jacob Astor bought
up foreclosed properties during the financial bust. He later sold
them for a 10-fold profit.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)(MC, 5/31/02)
1854 May 31, Kansas-Nebraska
Act was passed by U.S. Congress.
1861 May 31, Gen. PGT
Beauregard was given command of Confederate Alexandria Line.
1862 May 31, At the Battle of
Fair Oaks, also known as the Battle of Seven Pines, Gen. McClellan
defeated the Confederates outside of Richmond. Confederate Gen. Joe
Johnston was injured and evacuated to Richmond. Maj. Gen. G.W. Smith
took temporary command.
1868 May 31, The 1st Memorial
Day parade was held in Ironton, Ohio.
1875 May 31, Italo Montemezzi,
composer, was born.
1879 May 31, New York's Madison
Square Garden opened its doors.
1879 May 31, 1st electric
railway opened at the Berlin Trades Exposition.
1889 May 31, Johnstown,
Pennsylvania was destroyed by a massive flood. The South Fork Dam
across a tributary of the Little Conemaugh River collapsed under
pressure from the rain-swollen Lake Conemaugh. Water slammed into
Johnstown, Pa., 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and killed 2,209
people in a flood and related fire. Torrential rains had weakened
the poorly constructed dam, located 14 miles upstream from the city.
By the afternoon of May 31, after desperate efforts to shore up the
earthen dam had failed, it broke and unleashed a 40-foot-high wave
of water and debris into Johnstown with the force of Niagara Falls.
Buildings and trees, along with animals and people--both dead and
alive--piled up against the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's Stone
Bridge. The mountain of debris then caught fire, trapping hundreds.
More than 2,000 people lost their lives in the devastating Johnstown
Flood. The South Fork Dam had been constructed to create Lake
Conemaugh, a playground for the wealthy members of the South Fork
Fishing and Hunting Club. In 1959 Richard O'Connor published
"Johnstown, the Day the Dam Broke." In 1968 David McCullough
authored “The Johnstown Flood."
(SFC, 3/24/97, p.C2)(AP, 5/31/97)(HN,
5/31/98)(WSJ, 1/27/06, p.P8)
1892 May 31, Gregor Strasser,
German pharmacist, NSDAP-Reich organization founder, was born.
1894 May 31, Fred Allen [John
Florence Sullivan], American comedian, was born.
1894 May 31, The US Senate
passed a resolution encouraging Hawaii to establish its own form of
government without interference from the US.
(ON, 11/02, p.7)
1894 May 31, Victor Horsley,
medical researcher, published a report in Nature indicating that
cats shot through the head stop breathing and that resuscitative
efforts helped them survive.
(WSJ, 8/21/96, p.A15)
1898 May 31, Norman Vincent
Peale (d1993), American religious leader, was born in Ohio. He later
authored "The Power of Positive Thinking."
(HN, 5/31/01)(MC, 5/31/02)
1900 May 31, U.S. troops
arrived in Peking to help put down Boxer Rebellion.
1900 May 31, Chicago’s
Northwestern Elevated began operations, and Charles T. Yerkes, its
chief visionary was present to see his project come to fruition.
1902 May 31, The Boer War ended
between the Boers of South Africa and Great Britain with the Treaty
of Vereeniging. This effectively ended a 3-year uprising by the
Boers, led by Louis Botha, commandant general of the Transvaal
forces. Botha was a signatory at the peace conference. The
combination of superior fire power and a brutal war of attrition
launched by Lord Kitchener forced the Boers to give in. Kitchener
burned the farms of Africans and Boers alike and collected as many
as a 100,000 women and children in carelessly run and unhygienic
concentration camps on the open veldt. Britain annexed Transvaal.
(V.D.-H.K.p.289)(HN, 5/31/99)(SFC, 9/25/99,
1906 May 31, France and Germany
signed an accord in which France agreed to yield control of the
Moroccan police, but otherwise retained effective control of
Moroccan political and financial affairs.
1907 May 31, Taxis began
running in NYC. [see Aug 13]
1908 May 31, Actor Don Ameche
was born in Kenosha, Wis.
1909 May 31, The National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its
first conference at the United Charities Building in NYC.
(HN, 5/31/98)(MC, 5/31/02)
1910 May 31, Dr. Elizabeth
Blackwell (b.1821), the first American woman to become a doctor,
died. She and colleagues founded the New York Infirmary for Women
and Children (1857).
1910 May 31, The Union of South
Africa was founded as a union within the British Empire. It combined
four British colonies: the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the
Transvaal Colony and the Orange River Colony. (The latter two were,
before the Second Boer War, independent republics known as the South
African Republic and the Orange Free State.) These colonies became
the four original provinces of the Union: Cape Province, Transvaal
Province, Natal Province and Orange Free State Province.
1988, p. 566)(AP, 5/31/97)
1913 May 31, The 17th Amendment
to the Constitution, providing for the popular election of U.S.
senators, was declared in effect.
(AP, 5/31/97)(HN, 5/31/98)
1915 May 31, A German LZ-38
Zeppelin made an air raid on London. [see Jun 1]
1916 May 31, During World War
I, British and German fleets fought the Battle of Skagerrak at
Jutland off Denmark and 10,000 were left dead. There was no
clear-cut victor, although the British suffered heavier losses.
(HN, 5/31/98)(AP, 5/31/06)
1920 May 31, Edward Bennett
Williams, Washington lawyer, was born.
1921 May 31, A major race riot
broke out in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Greenwood, the black section of town,
was burned. In 1997 Jewell Parker Rhodes wrote the novel "Magic
City" based on this event. As many as 10,000 white men and boys
attacked the black community and 35 blocks of the black business
district were burned with participation by police officers and a
local unit of the National Guard. Some 200-300 people were believed
to have been killed. In 2000 the Tulsa Race Riot Commission
recommended that reparations be paid to survivors of the riots. In
2001 a final state commission recommended that reparations be paid
to survivors and their descendants.
(NPR, 5/31/96)(SFEC, 6/29/97, BR p.3)(SFC,
8/10/99, p.A2)(SFC, 2/5/00, p.A3)(SFC, 3/1/01, p.A4)
1925 May 31, Julian Beck,
theater manager, was born.
1926 May 31, Portuguese
president Bernardino Machedo resigned after coup.
1928 May 31, The first flight
over the Pacific took off from Oakland. Charles Kingsford-Smith
& Charles Ulm departed from Oakland, Ca., and arrived in
Australia on June 9.
(HN, 5/31/98)(NPub, 2002, p.11)
1930 May 31, Clint Eastwood,
actor and director, was born was born in SF and went to high school
in Oakland. He became famous for his "Dirty Harry" films and
"Spaghetti Westerns." A biography: "Clint Eastwood," by Richard
Schickel was published in 1996 and made into a TV documentary in
(SFC,10/31/97, p.C7)(HN, 5/31/98)(HN, 5/31/99)
1935 May 31, In Quetta, India,
a magnitude 7.5 earthquake killed some 50,000 people.
1937 May 31, German battleships
shelled Almeria, Spain.
1938 May 31, Peter Yarrow,
(Peter, Paul & Mary-Puff the Magic Dragon), was born in NYC.
1939 May 31, Terry Waite,
Anglican Church envoy, Lebanese hostage, was born.
1940 May 31, British General
Bernard Montgomery left Dunkirk. The French government allowed
French soldiers to be picked up at Dunkirk.
(MC, 5/31/02)(ON, 8/12, p.4)
1940 May 31, Winston Churchill
flew to Paris.
1941 May 31, An armistice was
arranged between the British and the Iraqis. The British were to
remain in the country and the Iraqis were to do nothing to help the
1942 May 31, In Australia 3
midget submarines slipped into the Sidney Harbor after being
launched from a fleet of five larger Japanese submarines offshore.
Two were spotted and attacked, leading the two-man crews to commit
suicide. A 3rd midget submarine managed to fire two torpedoes at the
US heavy cruiser USS Chicago, one of which exploded beneath an
Australian depot ship HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21 sailors. In 2006 the
M24 midget submarine was found by scuba divers in deep waters off
the coast. In 2007 the Australian government decided to leave the
M24 and its 2 Japanese sailors undisturbed on the seabed.
(AFP, 11/24/06)(AFP, 5/23/07)
1942 May 31, Luftwaffe bombed
1943 May 31, Joe Namath, NFL QB
(NY Jets), $400,000 man (1969 Superbowl), was born in PA.
1952 May 31, In San Francisco
the first Golden Gate Park Road Race was held with some 60 cars
vying for first place. The races continued again in 1953 and ended
(SFC, 5/28/12, p.C1)
1952 May 31, Walter
Schellenberg, German lawyer, headed spy plot (Venlo), died of
1953 May 31, V.I. Tatlin
(b.1885), Ukrainian-born painter and sculptor, died in Moscow.
1955 May 31, Supreme Court
ordered that states must end racial segregation "with all deliberate
1955 May 31, Great Britain
proclaimed emergency crisis due to railroad strike.
1961 May 31, South Africa
became an independent republic.
1962 May 31, Adolph Eichmann
(b.1906), Gestapo official and Nazi war criminal, was hanged near
Tel Aviv, Israel, for his role in the Nazi murder of over one
million Jews. He had been nabbed in Argentina by Peter Malkin in
1960 and taken to Israel for trial. This was the first execution to
take place in the state Israel. Eichmann completed 1,300 notebook
pages while in prison and they were OK'd for publication in 1999. In
1963 Hannah Arendt authored "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the
Banality of Evil."
(SFEC, 11/3/96, Par p.13) (AP, 5/31/97)(HN,
5/31/99)(SFC, 8/11/99, p.C4)(WSJ, 8/31/99,
1969 May 31, John Lennon and
Yoko Ono recorded "Give Peace a Chance" during their “Bed-In" at the
Queen Elizabeth’s Hotel in Montreal.
1970 May 31, In Cambodia 9
journalists (American, Cambodian, Indian, Japanese, and French) were
ambushed by Khmer Rouge and Viet Cong guerrillas near Kandoul
village south of Phnom Penh. 4 of the CBS employees were killed
instantly. 5 others were believed to have been taken to Kandoul in
the days after and executed. Their bodies were dumped in a shallow
grave amid the untilled earth of rice paddies.
1970 May 31, A 7.7 slab
earthquake and debris flow in Peru killed 67,000, injured 50,000 and
destroyed 186,000 buildings.
1974 May 31, Israel and Syria
signed an agreement on the Golan Heights.
1976 May 31, Martha Mitchell,
the estranged wife of former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, died
in New York.
1977 May 31, The trans-Alaska
oil pipeline was completed after three years of work.
1978 May 31, Hanna Hoch
(b.1889), German photomontage artist of the Berlin Dada movement,
died. Her work included "Cut With the Kitchen Knife Dada Through the
Last Weimar Beer-Belly Epoch of Germany," (1919-1920).
(SFC, 3/25/97, p.E3)(SSFC, 1/27/02,
1979 May 31, Zimbabwe
proclaimed its independence.
1983 May 31, Jack Dempsey
(b.1895), former US heavyweight boxing champ (1919-1926), died.
Dempsey wrote a book on boxing, “Championship Fighting: Explosive
Punching and Aggressive Defence" (1950). In 1999 Roger Kahn authored
"A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring Twenties."
1985 May 31, At least 41
tornadoes hit Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and southeastern
Ontario, Canada, during an eight-hour period killing 88 people with
over 1,000 injured.
1987 May 31, Addressing AIDS
research supporters in Washington, D.C., President Reagan called
"for urgency, not panic," but drew scattered boos when he announced
he would seek expanded testing for the disease.
1988 May 31, On the third day
of the Moscow superpower summit, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev
said maybe it was "time to bang our fists on the table" to complete
work on a strategic arms treaty. President Reagan responded: "I'll
do anything that works." Reagan received a standing ovation from
students at Moscow Univ. following a short speech with questions and
(AP, 5/31/98)(HN, 5/31/99)(WSJ, 6/18/04, p.A11)
1989 May 31, Pres. G.W. Bush
met with Chancellor Kohl and addressed the citizens of Mainz,
Germany. He offered Germany a “partnership in leadership."
1989 May 31, US House Speaker
Jim Wright, dogged by questions about his ethics, announced he would
resign. Thomas Foley succeeded him.
1989 May 31, Charles A.
Hufnagel (b.1917), artificial heart valve pioneer, died at his home
in Washington, DC.
1990 May 31, Seinfeld, starring
Jerry Seinfeld, debuted on NBC. [see July 5, 1989]
1990 May 31, President Bush and
his wife, Barbara, welcomed Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev in
a ceremony on South Lawn of the White House. The two leaders and
their aides then held talks on German reunification.
1990 May 31, In NYC the Zodiac
killer shot a 3rd victim. Joseph Ponce died from his wound on June
1991 May 31, US Federal health
officials announced a new Medicare fee schedule.
1991 May 31, Pres. Jose Eduardo
dos Santos signed a peace treaty with Jonas Savimbi of UNITA, ending
a 16-year-old Angola civil war. It called for a unified military and
(AP, 5/31/01)(SFC, 4/5/02, p.A11)
1992 May 31, "Crazy for You"
was named Broadway's best musical at the Tony Awards; "Dancing at
Lughnasa" was named best play.
1992 May 31, An estimated
50,000 people demonstrated in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, against
1993 May 31, President Clinton
paid a Memorial Day visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where
some in the crowd jeered him for avoiding military service.
"Disagreement is freedom's privilege," Clinton exhorted critics.
1994 May 31, U.S. Rep. Dan
Rostenkowski, D-Ill., maintaining his innocence, was indicted on 17
felony counts alleging he'd plundered nearly $700,000 from the
government. He later pleaded guilty to two counts of misusing
federal funds and spent 451 days in federal custody.
1994 May 31, The United States
announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at
targets in the former Soviet Union.
1995 May 31, President Clinton
declared he was ready to permit the temporary use of American ground
forces in Bosnia to help UN peacekeepers move to safer positions if
1995 May 31, Senator Bob Dole
(Kansas) accused Hollywood of promoting violence, rape and casual
sex in music and movies saying "the mainstreaming of deviancy must
come to an end."
1996 May 31, California state
authorities officially advised the 900 residents of Chualar in
Monterey County, Ca., not to use tap water due to the accumulation
of nitrates from agricultural fertilizers and pesticides.
(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A1,6)
1996 May 31, Timothy Leary died
at 75 of prostate cancer. Some of his ashes were launched into space
with those of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (d.1991) and 28
others. Leary was a big promoter of LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide.
He began using the drug while at Harvard with Richard Alpert, aka
Baba Ram Dass. He was arrested in 1969 for marijuana possession and
sentenced to 10 years, but escaped from captivity. In 1973 he was
caught in Afghanistan and returned to prison from which he was
paroled in 1976. In 2006 Robert Greenfield authored “Timothy Leary:
(SFC, 6/1/96, p.A1,7)(SSFC, 7/9/06, p.M3)
1996 May 31, Israeli warplanes
attacked a Hezbollah base in eastern Lebanon in retaliation for an
ambush that killed four Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon.
(SFC, 5/31/96, A16)
1996 May 31, Benjamin Netanyahu
claimed victory in Israel's election for prime minister, defeating
incumbent Shimon Peres by nine-tenths of 1 percent.
1996 May 31, Tens of thousands
of teachers marched in Mexico City for a pay raise and to protest
the police crack-down on a previous march last week. Most teacher
salaries are about $400 per month.
(SFC, 6/1/96, p.A12)
1996 May 31, The Finnish food
company Raisio Group has invented a new product that blocks the
body’s absorption of cholesterol. The new "pharmafood" is called
benecol and based on a plant extract known as beta sitostanol, a
plant sterol extracted from Nordic pine trees.
(WSJ, 5/31/96, p.B3C)
1996 May 31, The Ex-Im Bank
said that it would not finance companies bidding on China’s massive
$24 billion Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangtze River due to
human rights and environmental issues.
(WSJ, 5/31/96, p.A1)
1997 May 31, Rosie Will Monroe
(77), aka Rosie the Riveter, died in Indiana. During WW II she
worked as a riveter at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti,
Michigan, building B-29 and B-24 bombers for the Air Force. She
appeared in films and poster used by the U.S. government to
encourage women to go to work in support of the war effort.
1997 May 31, Pope John Paul II
began an 11-day tour of his native Poland, his seventh visit since
assuming the papacy.
1997 May 31, It was reported
that more than 60 monk seals were killed from eating fish that had
ingested a toxic algae off of Mauritania’s Atlantic coast. It was
estimated that only some 350 of the monk seals were left worldwide.
(SFC, 5/31/97, p.A17)
1997 May 31, From Argentina it
was reported that high joblessness (17.3%) was causing riots in
various provinces outside the capital. Neuquin, Jujuy, Salta and
Santa Fe had all experienced riots.
(SFC, 5/31/97, p.A13)
1997 May 31, The 7-member ASEAN
alliance, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, met in Kuala
Lumpur and agreed to allow Burma to become a member in July. Laos
and Cambodia were also to be admitted. The members were Thailand,
Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.
(SFEC, 6/1/97, p.D3)
1997 May 31, From the
Philippines it was reported that torrential rains from Tropical
Storm Levi killed at least 53 people.
(SFC, 5/31/97, p.A17)
1997 May 31, Russia and the
Ukraine signed a friendship treaty. Boris Yeltsin traveled to Kiev
to sign the treaty.
(SFEC, 6/1/97, p.A8)
1997 May 31, In Spain thousands
of olive oil workers protested in Madrid against the EU plan to
force a cut in olive oil production and to lower subsidies.
(SFEC, 6/1/97, p.D1)
1998 May 31, Pres. Clinton
endorsed additional conditional financial support for Russia from
the IMF and World Bank.
(SFC, 6/1/98, p.A9)
1998 May 31, Storms tore from
Pennsylvania through New England, killing several people and
knocking out power for nearly 1 million customers.
1998 May 31, Singer Geri
Halliwell, also known as "Ginger Spice" of the Spice Girls,
confirmed she was leaving the group.
1998 May 31, In Colombian
presidential elections conservative Andres Pastrana (43), son of
former Pres. Misael Pastrana, was in a tight race with Hector Serpa
(55) of the ruling Liberals. Serpa led Pastrana 34.6 vs. 34.3 and a
runoff was set for Jun 21. Noemi Sanin, an independent female
candidate, received 27% of the vote.
(WSJ, 5/29/98, p.A1)(SFC, 5/30/98, p.A12)(SFC,
6/2/98, p.A11)(SFC, 6/20/98, p.B1)
1998 May 31, In Ecuador Alvaro
Noboa, scion of the country’s wealthiest family, made a run for the
presidency in the first round of elections. Jamil Mahuad led the
elections with 36.7%, but failed to get a majority. Alvaro Noboa had
29.8%. A runoff was scheduled for Jul 12.
(SFC, 5/28/98, p.A8)
1998 May 31, In Montenegro a
reformist coalition led by Pres. Djukanovic led in national
elections with 50.4%.
(SFC, 6/1/98, p.A8)
1999 May 31, Last Monday of the
month. Memorial Day, which began in 1868 as Decoration Day, was set
aside to remember those who have died in the service of their
country. Celebrated on May 30 for the first 100 years, Memorial Day
was officially changed to the last Monday in May in 1968.
1999 May 31, During a Memorial
Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery, President Clinton asked
Americans to reconsider their ambivalence about Kosovo, calling it
"a very small province in a small country. But it is a big test of
what we believe in."
1999 May 31, It was reported
that Mike Moshier (51), founder of Millennium Jet Inc. in Santa
Clara, Ca., had developed the SoloTrek XFV, a single passenger
flying vehicle, that could fly at 80 mph for up to 90 minutes as
high as 10,000 feet on a single tank of 87-octane gas.
(SFC, 5/31/99, p.E3)
1999 May 31, NATO missiles
killed at least 26 people in separate attacks. In Novi Pazar an
apartment block was struck and 10 people were killed. At least 16
people were killed on the outskirts of Surdulica, when missiles hit
a hospital and retirement complex.
(SFC, 6/1/99, p.A1,7)
1999 May 31, India agreed to
hold talks with Pakistan over Kashmir, but there was no let up in
the Indian offensive against guerrillas.
(SFC, 6/1/99, p.A8)
1999 May 31, In Turkey the
treason trial of Abdullah Ocalan was scheduled to begin on a prison
island. Ocalan offered to urge the PKK to stop its armed struggle
against Turkey and to pursue a legal process. Ocalan was later
convicted and sentenced to death, but the death sentence was
commuted to life in prison in 2002.
(SFC, 5/1/99, p.A8)(SFC, 6/1/99, p.A6)(AP,
2000 May 31, Pres. Clinton
proposed to EU allies in Portugal to share key technology on a US
missile defense program to calm fears of a nuclear arms race that
would leave Europe vulnerable.
(SFC, 6/1/00, p.A16)(AP, 5/31/01)
2000 May 31, Tito Puente, Latin
jazz bandleader, died in New York at age 77. He recorded some 119
albums from 1949 to 2000.
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.D2)
2000 May 31, In Chechnya Sergei
Zveryev, Russia’s 2nd highest official in the area, was killed by a
remote controlled bomb in Grozny. Grozny’s Mayor Supyan Makhchayev
was injured and his assistant was also killed.
(SFC, 6/1/00, p.A16)
2000 May 31, Ethiopia declared
victory over Eritrea as peace talks continued in Algeria.
(SFC, 6/1/00, p.A16)
2000 May 31, In Luxembourg Neji
Bejaoui, an unemployed Tunisian immigrant, took 37 children and 3
teachers hostage in Wasserbillig. Police posing as journalists shot
and wounded the hostage-taker after a 30-hour standoff. No one else
(SFC, 6/1/00, p.A17)(SFC, 6/2/00, p.A14)(SFC,
2000 May 31, In Montenegro
Goran Zugic (39), security advisor to Pres. Milo Dzukanovic, was
gunned down as he arrived home.
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.A18)
2001 May 31, Veteran FBI agent
Robert Hanssen pleaded innocent to charges of spying for Moscow. He
later changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to life in
2001 May 31, Timothy McVeigh
decided to seek a postponement of his execution "to promote
integrity in the criminal justice system."
(SFC, 6/1/01, p.A1)
2001 May 31, Microsoft released
its new Office XP for Windows software.
(SFC, 5/31/01, p.C1)
2001 May 31, Arlene Francis,
actress and TV personality, died in San Francisco at age 93.
2001 May 31, In Afghanistan the
Taliban barred female foreign-aid workers from driving. The virtue
ministry said the activity is harmful for society.
(WSJ, 6/1/01, p.A1)
2001 May 31, In Cuba a group of
journalists led by Raul Rivero formed an independent association,
the 1st under Castro’s rule.
(SFC, 6/1/01, p.D3)
2001 May 31, In Israel a Jewish
settler was killed in the West Bank and Palestinian (17) was killed
during a clash in Ramallah. Since Sept. 483 Palestinians have died
and 88 Israelis including 24 settlers.
(SFC, 6/1/01, p.D6)
2001 May 31, Faisal Husseini
(60), a moderate Palestinian leader, died in Kuwait of a heart
attack. He was a member of the PLO’s executive committee and head of
the Fatah on the West Bank.
(SFC, 6/1/01, p.D5)(AP, 5/31/02)
2001 May 31, The people of
Somaliland voted 97.1% in a referendum for independence. The
referendum was opposed by the government of Somalia and did not lead
to any state recognising the independence of Somaliland.
2002 May 31, Vermont Gov.
Howard Dean filed papers with the Federal Election Commission for
"Dean for America" presidential-campaign organization.
(WSJ, 6/23/03, p.A4)
2002 May 31, A three-judge
federal panel in Philadelphia ruled that public libraries cannot be
forced to install software that blocks sexually explicit Web sites.
2002 May 31, The World Cup
soccer tournament opened in Japan and South Korea for the first time
with a match between Senegal and defending champion France in South
Korea. Senegal upset France, 1-0.
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A1)(AP, 5/31/03)
2002 May 31, The US State Dept.
urged some 60,000 Americans in India to leave over concerns of war
between India and Pakistan.
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A1)
2002 May 31, Antonio Pineiro
(48), opened fire in a Top Valu market in Long Beach, Ca., and
killed Marcela Perez (38), a store clerk, and Barbara Ibasco (8).
Police shot and killed Pineiro and found the year old remains of an
elderly couple, believed to be his parents, dead in his apartment.
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A2)
2002 May 31, Bulgaria signed an
agreement with the US to destroy its Cold War-era missiles. The US
planned to pay the costs of destruction.
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A11)
2002 May 31, In Colombia Pres.
Pastrana suspended talks with the ELN.
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A11)
2002 May 31, In Denmark the
Parliament voted to stiffen rules on immigration.
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A9)
2002 May 31, European Union
countries formally signed on to the Kyoto Protocol, a pact aimed at
stemming pollution and global warming that has been opposed by the
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A9)(AP, 5/31/03)
2002 May 31, In southern Mexico
gunmen ambushed a truckload of people and killed 26 in Agua Fria.
The dead were all from Santiago Xochiltepec and were victims of a
land dispute. 16 suspects were later arrested.
(SSFC, 6/2/02, p.A12)(SFC, 6/3/02, p.A3)
2002 May 31, It was reported
that Yemen held some 85 detainees with suspected links to the al
(SFC, 5/31/02, p.A12)
2002 May 31, Zimbabwe declared
HIV a national emergency. Some 25% of the adults there were infected
with the virus.
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A11)
2003 May 31, President Bush
visited the site of the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau
in Poland as he challenged allies to overcome their bitterness and
mistrust over the Iraq war and unite in the struggle against
2003 May 31, Eric Rudolph, the
longtime fugitive charged in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing and in
attacks at an abortion clinic and a gay nightclub, was arrested in
the mountains of North Carolina.
2003 May 31, American forces
arrested 15 members of Saddam Hussein's banned Baath Party as they
met at a police college in Baghdad.
2003 May 31, Toronto reported
more cases of SARS and said the disease may have caused the deaths
of four people at a hospital on the edge of the city.
2003 May 31, A Chinese
freighter sank in the Baltic Sea. It carried 66,000 tons of
fertilizer and leaked over 55,270 gallons of diesel oil. Some 38,000
gallons were recovered.
(SFC, 6/3/03, p.A3)
2003 May 31, Air France planned
to ground its last 5 Concorde airplanes. The Air France Concorde,
the world's fastest and most luxurious passenger jet, flew from New
York to Paris for the last time.
(SFC, 4/11/03, p.B5)(AP, 5/30/03)(SSFC, 6/1/03,
2003 May 31, Clashes between
Philippine troops and Muslim separatist guerrillas left at least 23
dead, just days before a 10-day unilateral cease-fire was set to
2003 May 31, Russia officially
premiered the reborn Amber Room as part of the 300th anniversary of
(SFC, 5/31/03, p.A2)
2003 May 31, In St. Petersburg,
Russia, Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi and Hu Jintao, the new
president of China, agreed in a summit to work at defusing tensions
over North Korea.
2003 May 31, Singapore was
taken off the list of SARS countries.
(SSFC, 6/1/03, p.A3)
2004 May 31, In Memorial Day
tributes, President Bush declared that “America is safer" because of
its fighting forces while Sen. John Kerry visited the Vietnam
2004 May 31, Powerful storms
again swept across the US Midwest and beyond, knocking out power to
thousands of customers and spawning tornadoes that leveled
buildings. At least 9 deaths were blamed on the storms during the
Memorial Day weekend.
2004 May 31, In Austria a
catamaran filled 27 people overturned on Hinterbruehl Grotto,
Europe's largest underground lake, drowning 5 people after the
boat's railings formed a cage 5 feet down on the lake floor.
2004 May 31, Newbridge Capital,
an American private equity firm, became the 1st foreign financial to
gain control of a Chinese bank with an 18% stake in Shenzhen
Development Bank and majority control of the board.
(Econ, 6/5/04, p.70)
2004 May 31, U.S. troops
clashed with Shiite militiamen in the holy city of Kufa for a second
day in fighting that killed two Americans. In Baghdad, a car bomb
exploded near the headquarters of the U.S. coalition, killing at
least two people and injuring more than 20.
2004 May 31, Felipe Calderon,
Mexico's energy secretary resigned, a day after President Vicente
Fox criticized him for an early jump into the 2006 presidential
2004 May 31, Nigeria’s
President Olusegun Obasanjo said that his country's
30-billion-dollar external debt was "burdensome, unsustainable and
unpayable" and appealed for leniency from its creditors.
2004 May 31, In Pakistan 20-25
people were killed in Karachi in an apparent suicide bombing at a
crowded Shiite Muslim mosque.
(AP, 6/1/04)(WSJ, 8/19/04, p.A11)
2004 May 31, Ousted Haitian
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family received a
first-class diplomatic welcome from South Africa, his new home in
2005 May 31, President Bush,
faced with a string of setbacks on Capitol Hill, shrugged off
questions about his political clout and promised during a news
conference to keep pushing Congress for a Social Security overhaul.
2005 May 31, Vanity Fair
Magazine revealed that W. Mark Felt (91), former FBI official, was
the Watergate whistleblower Deep Throat, who helped bring down Pres.
Nixon in 1974.
2005 May 31, Human Events, a
conservative weekly, published a list of what 15 conservative
scholars considered to be the 10 most harmful books of the 19th and
(www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=7591)(SSFC, 6/12/05, p.C3)
2005 May 31, The US Supreme
Court overturned the 2002 criminal Enron-related conviction of
Arthur Andersen LLP ruling that the trial judge erred by granting
the government’s request to loosen the standard jury instructions.
(WSJ, 6/1/05, p.A1)
2005 May 31, The Massachusetts
Legislature voted to override Gov. Romney’s veto of a bill easing
stem-cell research curbs.
(WSJ, 6/1/05, p.A1)
2005 May 31, Advanced Micro
Devices (AMD) introduced its 1st PC microprocessors with a dual-core
chip design, the Athlon 64 X2.
(SFC, 5/31/05, p.C4)
2005 May 31, James Wolfensohn,
former World Bank chief, assumed the post of special envoy for Gaza
disengagement for the Quartet (USA, Russia, EU and UN). He was
assigned to co-ordinate Israel’s imminent withdrawal from the Gaza
Strip and to focus on economic ways to help Palestinians after the
Israeli exit. He left the post a year later.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Wolfensohn)(Econ, 6/30/07, p.55)
2005 May 31, NATO troops took
command of security and reconstruction efforts in western
Afghanistan from US forces under a plan that will likely soon put
NATO forces into insurgent hot spots.
2005 May 31, A Belarus court
sentenced 2 opposition leaders to 3 years of compulsory labor for
organizing a 2004 anti-Lukashenko demonstration.
(WSJ, 6/1/05, p.A1)
2005 May 31, In Bolivia
thousands of demonstrators prevented legislators from reaching the
congressional building Tuesday, forcing the suspension of their
first session after a weeklong recess caused by continued street
2005 May 31, In Brazil
authorities ordered the slaughter of 17,000 chickens after 6,000
chickens died from a mysterious respiratory illness in Mato Grosso
do Sul state. Brazil is the world's largest chicken exporter.
2005 May 31, China said
reporter Ching Cheong of The Straits Times, Singapore's main
English-language newspaper, has admitted to spying for a foreign
intelligence agency. Cheong’s wife said he was arrested April 22
after a source gave him documents about purged former Communist
Party leader Zhao Ziyang, who died this year.
(AP, 5/31/05)(WSJ, 5/31/05, p.A1)
2005 May 31, In Dagestan a
police bus was bombed in Makhachkala and 7 people were killed.
(WSJ, 7/29/05, p.A11)
2005 May 31, French President
Jacques Chirac appointed Dominique de Villepin, a loyalist who was
France's voice against the Iraq war, as prime minister.
2005 May 31, In Haiti a fire
burned through a large market in Port au Prince moments after a gun
fight erupted that killed at least one man.
2005 May 31, Two-thirds of
Israel's Ein Gedi nature reserve was destroyed by fire, causing
considerable damage to animal and plant life in the lush oasis
sandwiched between the harsh Judean Desert and the Dead Sea.
2005 May 31, Pakistan’s Pres.
Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Senior al-Qaida terrorist suspect Abu
Farraj al-Libbi, arrested on May 2, will be sent to the US for
prosecution. He is believed to be behind two assassination attempts
against Musharraf and could have received the death penalty here.
2005 May 31, A Russian court
declared oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky guilty of an array of
charges in a trial widely criticized as politically motivated,
sentencing him to nine years in prison minus time served.
Co-defendant Platon Lebedev also received a 9-year sentence and the
2 men were fined 17 billion rubles ($615 million).
(AP, 5/31/05)(SFC, 6/1/05, p.A3)
2005 May 31, Sudan arrested a
second aid worker from the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) aid agency
over a report on hundreds of rapes in the troubled Darfur region.
2005 May 31, In Switzerland
Griselidis Real (76), writer and well-known prostitute who
campaigned for the rights and dignity of sex workers, died in
Geneva. In 2009 she was re-buried in the presence of 200 people at
the Cemetery of the Kings, which is reserved for individuals that
have profoundly marked Swiss or international history.
2005 May 31, Trinidad police
arrested Basdeo Panday, former prime minister (1995-2001) and
opposition leader, and 3 others on corruption charges connected to
an airport construction contract.
2006 May 31, The US said it
would join in face-to-face talks with Iran over its disputed nuclear
program if Tehran first agreed to put challenged atomic activities
on hold; Iran dismissed the offer as "a propaganda move."
2006 May 31, Florida’s Gov. Jeb
Bush signed the Martin Lee Anderson Act, which replaced boot camps
with education based juvenile detention centers.
(Econ, 7/8/06, p.29)
2006 May 31, NBC's "Today" show
threw a going-away party for 15-year host Katie Couric, who left to
become anchor of "The CBS Evening News."
2006 May 31, In Afghanistan
suspected Taliban fighters fired a grenade at a police vehicle in
southeastern Zabul province, killing the provincial deputy police
chief and wounding three officers. In Uruzgan province hundreds of
suspected Taliban fighters attacked the town of Chora and briefly
occupied its police headquarters after driving out security forces.
2006 May 31, Smokers were
required to light up outside across much of eastern Canada, as one
of North America's most restrictive bans went into effect.
2006 May 31, The Canadian
dollar hit its strongest level in 28 years against the dollar,
piercing through a key chart level.
2006 May 31, China closed 201
Hebei clinics that aborted female fetuses and offered subsidies to
families without sons to curb widespread gender engineering.
(WSJ, 6/1/06, p.A1)
2006 May 31, In Chile police
for a second day used water cannons to scatter demonstrations by
high school students that turned violent when masked protesters
started throwing rocks near downtown Santiago. President Michelle
Bachelet fired the commander of the Santiago riot police, Col.
Osvaldo Jara, in response to the initial clashes.
2006 May 31, The UN Security
Council cut the number of peacekeepers deployed in Eritrea and
Ethiopia by at least one-third while extending the UN mission's
mandate for another four months.
2006 May 31, In France youths
torched a dozen cars and hurled stones at police in a second night
of violence in the troubled Paris suburbs, raising memories of
rioting that rocked the nation last year.
2006 May 31, Greenpeace said
nuclear waste from a storage facility is seeping into groundwater in
the Champagne region of France and threatening vineyards that
produce the sparkling wine.
2006 May 31, In Indonesia a
local health official said preliminary tests have found that bird
flu has killed another person, as the country struggles to get a
grip on a spike in cases.
2006 May 31, Two Iraqi women
were shot to death north of Baghdad after coalition forces fired on
a vehicle that failed to stop at an observation post. Iraqi police
and relatives said one of the women was about to give birth. Ali
Jaafar (25), a sportscaster for state-run al-Iraqiya TV, was gunned
down in a drive-by shooting near his home in southwestern Baghdad. A
parked car packed with explosives hit a police patrol in the
northern city of Mosul, killing at least five policemen and wounding
14. At least 25 Iraqis were killed across the country.
(AP, 5/31/06)(WSJ, 6/1/06, p.A1)
2006 May 31, A Dublin jury
convicted Rev. Daniel Doherty, a Roman Catholic priest, of raping a
13-year-old girl in 1985.
2006 May 31, Kenya approved
legislation that included provisions to punish those found guilty of
child prostitution and sex tourism and trafficking. The new law
aimed at curbing increasing sex abuse drew protest for failing to
criminalize marital rape while penalizing false rape reports.
2006 May 31, Lithuania's
three-party government collapsed with the withdrawal of the Labor
Party, a key coalition partner being investigated on corruption
allegations. PM Algirdas Brazauskas announced the Baltic country's
government was resigning after an emergency meeting with his
(AP, 5/31/06)(Econ, 6/10/06, p.50)
2006 May 31, Malaysia’s PM
Abdullah Badawi announced a national 5-year plan. An elderly woman
and three children were feared dead following a landslide in Kuala
Lumpur that destroyed 43 homes.
(AFP, 5/31/06)(Econ, 6/17/06, p.50)
2006 May 31, Dutch pedophiles
registered a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for
sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalization of child
pornography and sex with animals, sparking widespread outrage.
2006 May 31, Palestinian
militants fired homemade rockets at an Israeli town near the Gaza
Strip, and Israeli media reported that one landed near the home of
Israel's defense minister.
2006 May 31, In Somalia Islamic
militias and secular warlords resumed fighting for control of
Mogadishu, killing at least 13 people and wounding 11 after a
2006 May 31, South Korea's main
opposition party won 11 of 16 key regional posts in local elections,
according to exit polls, riding to victory on nationwide sympathy
for a leader wounded in a knife assault and widespread
disenchantment with the government.
2006 May 31, Taiwan's president
handed over day-to-day control of the island's government to the
premier in the wake of a series of scandals. Pres. Chen Shui-bian
pledged in a written statement night to give authority to Premier Su
Tseng-chang to control Taiwan's Cabinet. Police on May 24 arrested
Chen's son-in-law Chao Chien-min on suspicion he used insider
information to profit on the purchases of shares in partly
state-owned property company Taiwan Development Corp.
2006 May 31, The US and Vietnam
signed a trade pact that removes one of the last major hurdles in
Hanoi's bid to join the World Trade Organization.
2007 May 31, President Bush,
under international pressure to take tough action against global
warming, called for a world summit to set a long-term global
strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
2007 May 31, In a breach of
security, detailed plans for the new US Embassy under construction
in Baghdad appeared on the Web site of the architectural firm that
was contracted to design the massive facility.
2007 May 31, Former Presidents
Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush attended the
dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C.
2007 May 31, The US and Russia
agreed to put nuclear radiation monitors at all of Russia’s int’l.
border crossings by 2011.
(WSJ, 6/1/07, p.A1)
2007 May 31, New Hampshire Gov.
John Lynch signed a bill allowing civil unions for gays couples
effective next year.
2007 May 31, SF Mayor Gavin
Newsom proposed a $6.06 billion budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal
year, a 5.4% increase over the previous year.
(SFC, 6/1/07, p.B12)
2007 May 31, Wachovia Corp.
said it will acquire brokerage firm A.G. Edwards for $6.8 bil.
(SFC, 6/1/07, p.C3)
2007 May 31, Evan O’Dorney (13)
won the Scripps National Spelling Bee when he correctly spelled the
(WSJ, 6/1/07, p.A1)
2007 May 31, A Taliban ambush
killed 16 policemen in a convoy on its way from the south to Kabul.
A battle pitting NATO and Afghan troops against Taliban fighters in
southern Afghanistan killed 20 militants. Taliban commander called
Mullah Naqibullah was among the dead. Taliban fighters attacked the
home of a police official in Zurmat district of Paktia province.
Police reinforcements were called in, sparking a battle that left
six Taliban dead. Five rockets were fired from the top of a mountain
in Kunar province, hitting several civilian homes and killing two
(AFP, 5/31/07)(AP, 5/31/07)(AP, 6/1/07)
2007 May 31, Australia and the
Philippines agreed to expand counter-terrorism cooperation, with
elite Australian troops to train their Philippine counterparts in
the restive south.
2007 May 31, China’s state
media said fast-spreading, foul-smelling blue-green algae smothered
Lake Tai in eastern Jiangsu province, contaminating the drinking
water for millions of people and sparking panic-buying of bottled
2007 May 31, A wildlife expert
said a thousand rare black-mane lions, an Ethiopian national symbol,
and some 300 elephants are in danger after a swathe of forest that
was part of their sanctuary was cut down.
2007 May 31, Haitian
authorities arrested 10 people, including four police officers, who
were allegedly transporting 925 pounds of cocaine in two vehicles
with government license plates.
2007 May 31, India and the
United States began talks intended to resolve delays in a nuclear
energy deal that will give India access to long-denied Western
2007 May 31, Iran pledged to
end years of stonewalling and provide answers on past suspicious
activities to the UN nuclear monitoring agency probing its atomic
program, in a move being seen as an attempt to avoid new UN
sanctions. Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Iran's hard-line interior
minister, encouraged temporary marriages as a way to avoid
extramarital sex, a stance many in this conservative country fear
would instead encourage prostitution. A temporary marriage, or
"sigheh," refers to a Shiite Muslim tradition under which a man and
a woman sign a contract that allows them to be "married" for any
length of time, even a few hours.
(AP, 6/1/07)(AP, 6/2/07)
2007 May 31, Lt. Gen. Raymond
Odierno, the No. 2 US commander in Iraq, said that US military
officers were talking with Iraqi militants, excluding al-Qaida,
about cease-fires and other arrangements to try to stop the
violence. Saif M. Fakhry (26), an Associated Press Television News
cameraman, was shot twice and killed in Baghdad while walking to a
mosque near his home on his day off. A suicide bomber hit a police
recruiting center in Fallujah, killing as many as 25 people. The US
military said only one policeman was killed and eight were wounded.
(AP, 6/1/07)(AP, 5/31/07)
2007 May 31, Japan failed in
its bid to lift a moratorium on commercial whaling after stormy
annual talks in Alaska of the 75-nation International Whaling
Commission (IWC) and warned it might pull out of the organization.
2007 May 31, Government
spokesman Alfred Mutua said Kenya’s police over the last few months
have arrested 2,464 suspected followers of Mungiki, an outlawed
religious sect whose members are believed to have beheaded several
people in recent months.
2007 May 31, Latvia's
Parliament elected Valdis Zatlers, a surgeon with no political
background as, the Baltic country's next president. He will replace
outgoing President Vaira Vike-Freiberga in July when her second and
final term ends.
2007 May 31, Mexico's Televisa
network, known around the world for its soap operas, said it plans
to expand in China, following the lead of taco chains and other
Mexican businesses looking for a slice of the Asian nation's market.
2007 May 31, The Dutch news
agency ANP reported that almost half of Rotterdam's coffee shops
will be forced to stop selling cannabis because they are too close
to secondary schools.
2007 May 31, In northwestern
Pakistan about 100 suspected pro-Taliban militants attacked the
house of a government official before dawn, killing 13 people.
2007 May 31, In the Philippines
6 armed men boarded a bus in Manila and started robbing passengers.
3 suspects, the bus driver and a passenger were killed.
2007 May 31, President Vladimir
Putin said that tests of new Russian missiles were a response to the
planned deployment of US missile defense installations and other
forces in Europe, suggesting Washington has triggered a new arms
2007 May 31, The chief suspect
in the murder of Russian ex-agent Alexander Litvinenko accused the
British secret service of being behind the killing and said
Litvinenko himself had been spying for MI6.
2007 May 31, Rwanda said a law
abolishing the death penalty would come into force at the end of
July, six months after the government first announced plans to scrap
2007 May 31, In South Africa
Britain's PM Blair also said that Africa's leaders must get tough on
authoritarian governments, such as those in Sudan and Zimbabwe.
2007 May 31, The Spanish
government said it has filed a lawsuit in a US federal court against
an American firm over a shipwreck the company has found laden with a
2007 May 31, Serbia arrested
Zdravko Tolimir, one of six Serb war crimes suspects still at large.
He was picked up in Belgrade and officially arrested in the Serb
part of Bosnia.
(Econ, 6/9/07, p.60)
2007 May 31, In southern
Thailand suspected insurgents sprayed gunfire into a mosque, killing
7 worshippers. Black-uniformed raiders roared into Kolomudo, a
Muslim village, firing assault rifles and hurling grenades from a
pickup truck at a group of teenagers relaxing near the mosque. When
the attack was over, five of the youths lay dead. Buddhist
vigilantes were suspected. A roadside bomb killed 11 paramilitary
troops almost simultaneously in some of the worst recent violence. A
12th soldier died the next day.
(AP, 6/1/07)(AP, 8/7/07)
2007 May 31, Turkish lawmakers
approved again a constitutional amendment that would see the
president elected by popular vote, a change vetoed last week by the
outgoing head of state. Turkey's top general said the military was
ready to stage a cross-border offensive to fight Kurdish guerrillas
in Iraq and that he already had sought government approval to mount
(AFP, 5/31/07)(AP, 5/31/07)
2008 May 31, The rules panel of
the Democratic National Committee agreed to seat the delegations of
Florida and Michigan with half their votes, all but securing the
nomination for Sen. Barack Obama. Obama said he has resigned his
20-year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago
"with some sadness" in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his
longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and more recent fiery
remarks at the church by a visiting priest.
(SSFC, 6/1/08, p.A1)(AP, 6/1/08)
2008 May 31, FDIC bank
regulators took over the First Integrity Bank in Staples, Minnesota.
This was the 4th FDIC-insured bank to fail this year.
(WSJ, 6/5/08, p.A1)
2008 May 31, The US shuttle
Discovery made a successful launch from Florida. It carried a
Japanese research laboratory and key parts to fix a broken toilet in
the International Space Station.
2008 May 31, In El Cerrito,
Ca., the new Playland-Not-at-the-Beach museum opened at 10979 San
Pablo Ave. It featured relics from San Francisco’s former
Playland-at-the-Beach, which was bulldozed in 1972, including one of
the 278 remaining Laughing Sals.
(SFC, 5/31/08, p.B1)
2008 May 31, In Afghanistan 2
NATO-led soldiers and as many Afghan civilians were wounded in a
suicide car bombing in the eastern city of Jalalabad. The Taliban
claimed responsibility for that attack. 2 NATO soldiers were killed
in the attack.
(AFP, 5/31/08)(AP, 6/1/08)
2008 May 31, Tropical Storm
Arthur the first named storm of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season,
kicked up surf when it made landfall at the Belize-Mexico border and
2008 May 31, Chinese
authorities had evacuated nearly 200,000 people and warned more than
1 million others to be ready to leave quickly as a lake formed by a
devastating earthquake threatened to breach its dam. A
Russian-designed Mi-171 transport helicopter carrying 10 people
injured in the devastating earthquake and four crew members crashed
in fog and turbulence, and authorities searched for survivors. The
confirmed death toll from the May 12 earthquake, reached nearly
69,000, with another 18,000 still missing.
(AP, 5/31/08)(AP, 6/1/08)
2008 May 31, An Egyptian police
official said boxes of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and
anti-aircraft missiles have been found in a mountain in the northern
Sinai peninsula. He said the weapons were to be smuggled into the
neighboring Gaza Strip.
2008 May 31, A former Deutsche
Telekom security chief said the national phone company spied on its
staff for years to see who had unauthorized contacts with
2008 May 31, President Manuel
Zelaya said that Honduras would create a civilian airport for
commercial jets on a US military airfield, diverting traffic from
Tegucigalpa's notoriously dangerous airport following a deadly
2008 May 31, In Iraq 10 people
were killed when a suicide bomber struck a police checkpoint in Hit,
a town west of Baghdad. The dead included six policemen and four
2008 May 31, In Latvia about
400 gay men and women and their supporters held a parade in Riga,
accompanied by a strong police presence and chants and insults from
2008 May 31, Lebanese troops
shot and killed a suicide bomber near Lebanon's largest Palestinian
refugee camp. The would-be suicide bomber was identified as Mahmoud
Yassin Ahmad, a 28-year-old Palestinian who lived in the Ein
el-Hilweh camp. Earlier in the day a Lebanese soldier was killed in
an explosion in the north of the country.
2008 May 31, In Nigeria a
senior health department official for the federal capital said
smokers in public places in the capital of Abuja will be arrested
and prosecuted from June 1.
2008 May 31, An explosion in
the Gaza Strip house of Nader Abu Shaban, a Hamas militant, killed
him and wounded 16 of his relatives and neighbors.
2008 May 31, South African
police said on a wave of attacks on foreigners has killed 62 people
since the violence broke out three weeks ago.
2008 May 31, Tens of thousands
of South Koreans rallied against a government decision to import US
beef in the largest demonstration in a month of almost daily
2008 May 31, In Sri Lanka 9
Tamil Tiger rebels and four soldiers were killed in new clashes in
Sri Lanka's restive north.
2008 May 31, In Vietnam some
1000 workers walked off the assembly line of a Panasonic plant as
inflation reached a 13-year high of 25.2%. Some 300 strikes took
place in the first quarter as compared to 103 in the first quarter
(WSJ, 6/3/08, p.A12)
2008 May 31, Zimbabwe state
radio reported that 2 supporters of the ruling party have been shot
dead in the country's northeast over the last 2 days, amid mounting
violence ahead of a presidential run-off next month. Police arrested
Eric Matinenga, a lawyer of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), as he went to visit arrested members in Buhera where
more than 70 suspects had been arrested over recent outbreaks of
(AFP, 6/1/08)(Reuters, 6/3/08)
2009 May 31, In Kansas abortion
Dr. George Tiller (67) was shot and killed while serving as an usher
during morning services in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church
in Wichita. Scott Roeder (51) fired one shot at Tiller and
threatened two other people who tried to stop him. Roeder was taken
into custody some 170 miles away in a Kansas City suburb about three
hours after the shooting. Tiller’s clinic had been bombed in 1986,
blockaded and vandalized in 1991 and in 1993 he was shot in both
arms. On Jan 29, 2010, Roeder (51) was convicted of first degree
murder. On April 1, 2010 Roeder was sentenced to life in
(AP, 6/1/09)(SFC, 6/3/09, p.A7)(Econ, 6/6/09,
p.30)(SFC, 1/30/10, p.A4)(SFC, 4/2/10, p.A7)
2009 May 31, A robotic vehicle
named Nereus, funded by the National Science Foundation's Division
of Ocean Sciences, made the deepest ocean dive ever - 6.8 miles
(10,902 meters). At this depth, Nereus was able to explore the
Challenger Deep, the ocean's lowest point, located in the Mariana
Trench in the western Pacific.
2009 May 31, Afghan and NATO
troops killed 18 Taliban militants after insurgents attacked a joint
patrol in Farah province.
2009 May 31, Britain's PM
Gordon Brown, facing a national uproar over lawmakers claiming
lavish expenses, promised to pursue constitutional reforms including
a proposal to take away legislators' power to decide their own pay.
2009 May 31, Phil Bolger (81),
Gloucester, Mass., boat designer, committed suicide. His 600-700
boat designs included the famed Gloucester Gull (1961).
2009 May 31, Daniel Carroll
(b.1927), Irish-born British entertainer (aka Danny La Rue), died.
He was known for his singing and drag impersonations.
2009 May 31, In Beijing US
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, aiming to persuade China that
its US investments were safe, pledged that the Obama administration
was firmly committed to ratcheting down huge deficits as quickly as
it can once economic recovery is assured.
2009 May 31, In Egypt police
reported that a 25-year-old man cut off his own penis to spite his
family after he was refused permission to marry a girl from a lower
2009 May 31, El Salvador’s
President-elect Mauricio Funes appointed his wife and a former
Marxist guerrilla to Cabinet posts just hours before starting his
2009 May 31, Three US Army
soldiers were killed and two were injured in an accident on a German
autobahn near Kaiserslautern.
2009 May 31, In Indian Kashmir
more than 40 people were wounded as clashes continued for a 2nd day
between Indian police and Kashmiris demonstrating over the recent
deaths of two young Muslim women.
2009 May 31, An Iraqi sports
broadcaster was killed by a bomb attached to his car in northern
Iraq, while two other journalists were wounded in a similar blast in
2009 May 31, Israel began the
biggest civil defense drill in its history, putting soldiers,
emergency crews and civilians through rehearsals for the possibility
of war at a time of rising tensions with Iran.
2009 May 31, In Mali it was
believed that Al-Qaida terrorists killed British hostage Edwin Dyer.
The fate of a Swiss hostage taken at the same time was unknown. Dyer
was abducted in January and his captors had threatened to kill him
by the end of May if Britain refused to release extremist preacher
Abu Qatada from prison.
2009 May 31, In Mexico gunmen
in Ciudad Juarez, opened fire in the lobby of a drug and alcohol
rehabilitation center, killing five people. Gunmen killed four men
sitting in a car in the border city of Tijuana.
2009 May 31, Pakistan’s
military relaxed a curfew in most parts of the northwest including
Mingora to allow people trapped on the roads to return home or leave
the region. Taliban militants attacked a school in Hangu town south
of Peshawar, killing one administrator and kidnapping three other
people. In North Waziristan, a former government doctor and an
Afghan national were killed by suspected militants.
2009 May 31, Palestinian forces
stormed a Hamas hideout in Qalqilya in the northern West Bank,
setting off a fierce battle that left six dead in the bloodiest
factional violence since the Palestinian president launched a
crackdown on the Islamic militant group two years ago.
(AP, 5/31/09)(Econ, 6/6/09, p.46)
2009 May 31, South Ossetia held
elections condemned as "illegitimate" by the EU. Eduard Kokoity
tightened his grip on the Georgian region after Yedinstvo (Unity), a
party loyal to him, won the elections.
2010 May 31, The US Congress
allowed emergency health care assistance for unemployed workers to
expire, and seemed unwilling to renew it despite pleas from Pres.
2010 May 31, It was reported
that Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft’s
ubiquitous Windows operating system because of security concerns.
2010 May 31, Astronomers
noticed that a galaxy quickly increased in brightness by a factor of
hundreds. Over the next year a star was ripped apart and devoured by
a black hole. Light from this event had taken about 2 billion years
to reach Earth.
(SSFC, 5/20/12, p.C11)
2010 May 31, Louise Bourgeois
(1911), Paris-born artist, died in NYC. The figures in her 1984
“Nature Study" lacked heads but had multiple breasts, phalluses and
claws. Her “Crouching Spider" sculpture was installed at Pier 14 in
San Francisco and stayed there from 2003 to 2009.
(SFC, 6/2/10, p.C4)(Econ, 6/12/10, p.97)
2010 May 31, Chris Haney
(b.1950), co-creator of the Trivial Pursuit (1979) game, died in
(SFC, 6/2/10, p.C4)
2010 May 31, Afghan authorities
suspended two Christian foreign aid groups on suspicion of
proselytizing in the strictly Islamic nation and said a follow-up
investigation would include whether other groups were trying to
convert Muslims. US-based Church World Service and Norwegian Church
Aid will not be allowed to operate while the allegations are
investigated. About 180 Taliban attacked a police post in the
Purchaman district in southwestern Farah province, triggering hours
of fighting that killed 15 insurgents. A NATO service member was
killed by a makeshift bomb in southern Afghanistan. In Khost
province on Pakistan's border, NATO and Afghan forces captured
several commanders of the Haqqani group.
(AP, 5/31/10)(AP, 6/1/10)
2010 May 31, Australia filed an
international lawsuit against Japan arguing that its whale cull does
not qualify for a scientific exemption to a 1986 ban. Japan said the
next day that it would staunchly defend its research hunt that kills
hundreds of whales per year.
2010 May 31, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy opened a France-Africa summit saying Africa will
fuel world economic growth for decades to come and must have a
stronger voice in global affairs. Guinea Bissau's Pres. Malam Bacai
Sanha, among the 38 African leaders attending the summit in Nice,
called for an international effort to help him fight drug
trafficking in his west African country.
(AP, 5/31/10)(AFP, 5/31/10)
2010 May 31, German President
Horst Koehler resigned in a surprise move after being criticized for
reportedly linking military deployments abroad with the country's
economic interests, creating a new headache for Chancellor Angela
2010 May 31, Business leaders
from Ghana and Zimbabwe met in Accra to forge closer economic and
trade cooperation between the two African countries.
2010 May 31, Hungary‘s new
government passed a bill submitted by the new center-right
government to introduce a National Unity Day on June 4.
(Econ, 6/5/10, p.60)(http://tinyurl.com/2btntca)
2010 May 31, Indonesia's
failure to ban tobacco advertising or enforce laws against smoking
in bars and restaurants came under heavy fire as the UN marked world
2010 May 31, In Iraq 4 people
were killed and several others wounded in separate attacks. Among
the dead was Nael al-Azami, a prominent local leader of
anti-insurgent Sunni forces known as Awakening Councils, who was
shot by two gunmen armed with silenced pistols. A series of other
early morning blasts across Baghdad wounded 11 more people.
2010 May 31, Israeli naval
commandos stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of
pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip, killing 9
passengers on the Mavi Marmara in a predawn raid that set off
worldwide condemnation and a diplomatic crisis. At least 4 of the 9
dead were Turkish. A massive protest broke out in Turkey, Israel's
longtime Muslim ally, which unofficially supported the mission.
Ankara announced it would recall its ambassador and call off
military exercises with the Jewish state. The flotilla of three
cargo ships and three passenger ships carrying 10,000 tons of aid
and 700 activists was carrying items that Israel bars from reaching
Gaza, like cement and other building materials. Israeli police said
16 pro-Palestinian activists from the flotilla were sent to jail
following the deadly confrontation. Turkey sent three planes to
bring back some 20 Turks wounded during clashes that broke out when
Israeli commandos raided the Turkish vessel.
(AP, 5/31/10)(AP, 6/1/10)(Econ, 1/28/12, p.54)
2010 May 31, Italy posted a
financial-stabilization decree aimed at tax cheats.
(Econ, 6/26/10, p.53)
2010 May 31, Kurdish rebels
launched a rocket attack on a military vehicle near naval base in
southern Turkey, killing six soldiers and wounding seven.
2010 May 31, A Malaysian
government official, Malacca Chief Minister Mohamad Ali Rustam,
defended an Indian company's plans to build an animal testing
medicine lab in his state, saying that God created monkeys and rats
for experiments to benefit humans.
2010 May 31, At least nine
people died and 40 were missing and feared dead after a boat sank
off the coast of northern Mozambique. All of those aboard the ship
2010 May 31, Pakistan lifted a
ban on Facebook after officials from the social networking site
apologized for a page deemed offensive to Muslims and removed its
2010 May 31, Al-Qaida announced
that its No. 3 official, Mustafa al-Yazid, had been killed along
with members of his family, perhaps one of the most severe blows to
the terror movement since the US campaign against al-Qaida began. A
US official said al-Yazid was believed to have died in a US missile
strike about a week ago in Pakistan. Gunmen disguised in police
uniforms attacked a hospital in Lahore killing 6 people in a failed
attempt to free a captured militant being treated there. The
militant was part of a group that killed 93 people on May 28 in an
assault on the Ahmadi sect.
(AP, 5/31/10)(SFC, 6/1/10, p.A2)
2010 May 31, South Africa’s
African National Congress decided to discipline trade union boss
Zwelinzima Vavi, who last week said the Congress of South African
Trade Unions (COSATU), which he heads, was concerned that senior ANC
members were exploiting political connections to accumulate personal
2010 May 31, In southern Sudan
renegade general George Athor said 3 top officers who quit south
Sudan's army over alleged fraud in national elections are
coordinating attacks in the oil-producing region, but the army
played down the threat.
2010 May 31, UN chief Ban
Ki-moon called for African nations to cooperate with the
International Criminal Court by arresting fugitive Ugandan rebel
Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, and some of his
2010 May 31, The UN atomic
agency said Iran has amassed more than two tons of enriched uranium
in a report that heightened Western concerns about the country
developing the ability to produce a nuclear weapon.
2011 May 31, Florida Gov. Rick
Scott signed legislation requiring all adult applicants for cash
benefits from the state welfare system to be tested for drugs. The
next day the ACLU sued to stop implementation of the legislation.
(Econ, 6/11/11, p.37)
2011 May 31, In Kentucky court
documents were unsealed charging Iraqi refugees Waad Ramadan Alwan
(30) and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi (23) of attempting to send sniper
rifles, Stinger missiles and money to Al-Qaida operatives in Iraq.
The 2 men arrived in the US in 2009 and were arrested last week.
(SFC, 6/1/11, p.A8)
2011 May 31, Mahmoud Abdel
Salam Omar (74), former chairman of Egypt's Bank of Alexandria, was
arrested in NYC for allegedly assaulting a hotel maid the previous
evening. On June 24 Omar pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sexual
abuse charge, acknowledging he kissed the woman on the lips and neck
and touched her breasts after she brought tissues to his room at the
posh Pierre hotel. He completed five days of community service in a
soup kitchen, and his case will be closed without jail time or
probation if he stays out of trouble for a year.
2011 May 31, In Virginia a
SkyExpress bus hit an embankment and flipped on I-95 killing 4
people of the 59 people onboard.
(SFC, 6/1/11, p.A10)
2011 May 31, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai said he will no longer allow NATO airstrikes on houses,
issuing his strongest statement yet against strikes that the
military alliance says are key to its war on Taliban insurgents. A
NATO spokeswoman said attacks on houses in Afghanistan are necessary
and will continue in cooperation with Afghan security forces. A NATO
service member was killed in an insurgent attack in eastern
(AP, 5/31/11)(AP, 6/1/11)
2011 May 31, The African Union
said representatives from north and south Sudan have agreed to set
up a demilitarized zone along their shared border, ten days after
the north seized the disputed Abyei region.
2011 May 31, Bahrain’s King
Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa (61) said he wanted to engage in a national
dialogue. Dismissing the government was not an option as Saudis
apparently insisted that his uncle Prince Khalifa bin Salman
al-Khalifa (75), who has served as prime minister for 40 years, stay
(Econ, 6/4/11, p.55)
2011 May 31, Brazilian police
arrested nearly 30 people in connection with a series of ATM heists
that have left some poorer parts of Sao Paulo with scant access to
cash. Five current or former police officers were arrested in the
sting and investigators suspect another two dozen police could be
2011 May 31, Britain’s Lord
John Taylor (58) of Warwick, a Conservative member of the House of
Lords, became the fifth lawmaker to be jailed over the scandal which
rocked British politics in 2009. Taylor, a former lawyer, was
sentenced to months in jail. He became the first black Conservative
peer when he took his seat in the House of Lords in 1996.
(AFP, 5/31/11)(Econ, 6/4/11, p.67)
2011 May 31, In the Central
African Republic violence erupted after the bodies of two children
were discovered in the boot of a car belonging to a Muslim.
(AF P, 6/3/11)
2011 May 31, Egypt’s
transitional government imposed a quote of no more than 400
passengers a day for crossing into Egypt at Rafah. A blacklist of
5,000 Gazans, who would not be allowed to cross, was reinstated.
(Econ, 6/4/11, p.58)
2011 May 31, Europe's human
rights court ruled that Russia was guilty of violations in its
jailing of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but found no firm
proof that the case was politically motivated.
2011 May 31, Analysts said
Germany's plan to shut all its nuclear power plants by 2022 will add
up to 40 million tons of CO2 dioxide emissions annually as the
country turns to fossil fuels.
2011 May 31, The death from a
food-borne bacterial outbreak in Germany rose to 16 with nearly 400
people suffering severe symptoms. Scientists were unsure of which
produce and which country was responsible for the unusual E. coli
(SFC, 6/1/11, p.A2)
2011 May 31, In India medical
services were paralyzed across the eastern state of Bihar by a
one-day strike by thousands of doctors demanding better security
after one of their colleagues was killed by a group of prisoners.
2011 May 31, Iraqi authorities
said that they've arrested a man suspected in the May 26 killing of
Ali al-Lami, a prominent Shiite official who was responsible for
purging loyalists of deposed ruler Saddam Hussein. The official was
once implicated in a bombing that killed Americans.
2011 May 31, The Israeli
military said it has arrested a dozen Palestinian militants in
nighttime raids around Jenin in the West Bank. The suspects were
linked to Islamic Jihad, which has targeted Israeli civilians in
suicide bombings and other deadly attacks.
2011 May 31, In northeastern
Japan an oil spill and a small explosion caused limited damage, but
no further radiation leaks. TEPCO said damage to a gas cylinder
caused a loud noise outside a reactor building at the Fukushima
nuclear plant as rubble was being cleared away.
(AP, 5/31/11)(Reuters, 5/31/11)
2011 May 31, NATO pounded
Tripoli, only hours after South African President Jacob Zuma left
Libya's capital having failed to close the gap between Kadhafi and
rebels fighting to oust him since February. Zuma said Kadhafi was
"ready to implement the roadmap of the AU" and that he had insisted
"all Libyans be given a chance to talk among themselves" to
determine the country's future.
2011 May 31, Mexican police
completed the arrests of 25 drug cartel members or collaborators in
central Mexico, including a police chief, two commanding officers
and seven agents suspected of aiding traffickers. The arrests began
May 29 in the mountains of Hidalgo.
2011 May 31, Pakistani fighter
jets attacked militant positions in the Orakzai tribal region close
to the Afghan border, killing at least 18 suspected insurgents.
2011 May 31, Pakistani
journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad (40), who investigated al-Qaida's
alleged infiltration of the country's navy, was found dead. Police
said there were signs he'd been tortured. He had told a rights
activist he feared the country's intelligence agencies planned to
retaliate against him over his story about the militant
infiltration. Two days earlier he had written an investigative
report in Asia Times Online saying Al-Qaeda carried out a recent
attack on a naval air base to avenge the arrest of naval officials
held on suspicion of Al-Qaeda links.
(AP, 5/31/11)(AFP, 1/13/12)
2011 May 31, Russian officials
said the suspected triggerman in the 2006 killing of journalist Anna
Politkovskaya has been arrested. Rustam Makhmudov, was arrested in
Chechnya and would be transferred to Moscow.
2011 May 31, The South African
Human Rights Commission said South Africa's ambassador to Uganda, a
country criticized for threatening the rights of gays, has been
found guilty of hate speech for an anti-gay column he wrote before
his appointment. Jon Qwelane was ordered to apologize and pay a fine
of 100,000 rand (about $14,000) that the human rights commission
will donate to a gay rights organization.
2011 May 31, South African
regulators approved Wal-Mart's 17 billion rand (about $2.4 billion)
bid to buy a 51% controlling share of South Africa’s Massmart chain
in a ruling that culminated a fierce debate over protectionism in
the country with the continent's most promising economy.
2011 May 31, In Sri Lanka a
3-day seminar opened in Colombo with the aim of teaching the world
how to defeat terrorism. Despite calls for a boycott 42 countries
(Econ, 6/4/11, p.52)
2011 May 31, The Syrian
military used heavy machine guns and artillery in renewed attacks on
Rastan, a town in the country's turbulent heartland. Opponents of
the Syrian regime gathered on Turkey's Mediterranean coast for a
conference aimed at overcoming their differences and bolstering
protesters who have endured a bloody crackdown under President
Bashar Assad. 20 people were reported shot dead in Rastan.
(AP, 6/1/11)(AP, 6/1/11)
2011 May 31, Turkey's
government defended a new regulation that will filter the Internet
and restrict access to websites that show pornography, bomb-making
and violent content. The new regulation was set to come into effect
2011 May 31, The official
newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan reported that Pres. Gurbanguli
Berdymukhamedov has signed a decree authorizing the creation of the
National Space Agency. Earlier this month, US space transportation
company SpaceX vice president Christophe Bauer announced that his
company would launch a satellite for the Central Asian nation in
2011 May 31, In Yemen street
fighting raged across Sanaa after a tenuous truce broke down between
tribal groups and forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh,
edging the impoverished Arab country closer to civil war. Security
forces shot dead 7 protesters in Taez.
(Reuters, 5/31/11)(AFP, 5/31/11)
2012 May 31, A US federal
appeals court in Boston declared that the Defense of Marriage Act
unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a
groundbreaking ruling all but certain to wind up before the US
2012 May 31, North Carolina
jurors acquitted John Edwards on one count and deadlocked on five
others ending his campaign finance fraud case in a mistrial.
(SFC, 6/1/12, p.A6)
2012 May 31, In Wisconsin
Darius Simmons (13), a black boy, was shot dead by his white
neighbor John Henry Spooner (75) after having stolen four guns from
Spooner. On July 17, 2013, a jury found Spooner guilty of
(SFC, 7/18/13, p.A7)
2012 May 31, The SpaceX Dragon
capsule splashed down in the Pacific to conclude the first private
delivery to the Intl. Space Station.
(SFC, 6/1/12, p.A6)
2012 May 31, In southern
Afghanistan a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives
outside a district police headquarters, killing five policemen in
Kandahar province. A homemade bomb killed a member of the US-led
NATO force. A pair of attacks killed five policemen in Kunduz and
2012 May 31, In southern
Australia a truck carrying around 400 sheep overturned on a highway
overpass outside Melbourne, causing the animals to rain onto the
freeway below resulting in "a large number" of dead and injured
2012 May 31, The Canadian
Senate passed back-to-work legislation. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd
expected operations to be back to normal within 48 hours. The
government's bill made provision for Ottawa to appoint an
arbitrator, who has 90 days to work with the company and the union
to craft a compromise contract, which will then be imposed.
2012 May 31, Nearly 300 stores
in the Gulf emirate of Dubai banned the sale of cigarettes for 24
hours to mark the World No Tobacco Day.
2012 May 31, Egypt's notorious
emergency law, in force since 1981, lapsed at the end of a two-year
extension passed by ousted President Hosni Mubarak's parliament.
2012 May 31, The EU
strengthened its sanctions against Guinea-Bissau's military junta,
slapping an asset freeze and visa ban on a further 15 people.
2012 May 31, In India a
nation-wide strike against rising petrol prices closed shops and
disrupted public transport, with the under-fire government facing
new dissent over its economic management. Mohan Paswan, in his late
40s, was lynched in Parhuti village in Bihar state when he disobeyed
an order by a local thug not to use the pump during a heatwave.
Paswan was attacked and brutally thrashed by a village strongman
Pramod Singh and his henchmen for taking water.
(AFP, 5/31/12)(AFP, 6/6/12)
2012 May 31, In western
Indonesia 3 critically-endangered Sumatran elephants were found dead
in an oil palm plantation. They were believed to have been poisoned.
2012 May 31, In Iraq bombs
exploded at 5 locations in Baghdad, among attacks that killed at
least 18 people and wounded 53. In one attack a parked car exploded
outside a busy restaurant in the Shiite neighborhood of Shula,
killing 13 people and wounding 37.
2012 May 31, Iraq closed a
landmark auction of energy exploration blocks with just three
contracts awarded out of a potential 12, dampening hopes the sale
would cement its role as a key global supplier. Pakistan Petroleum
and a partnership between Russian energy giant Lukoil and Japan's
Inpex won contracts today.
2012 May 31, Ireland's voters
agreed to ratify the European Union's deficit-fighting treaty with
"yes" votes reaching 60 percent. Leading Irish opponents of European
austerity conceded defeat even before all ballots were counted.
2012 May 31, Israel handed over
to the Palestinian government the remains of 91 militants who had
been killed while carrying out suicide bombings and other attacks in
an effort to renew long-stalled peace talks.
2012 May 31, In Mexico a truck
belonging to Sabritas, which sells potato and corn chips in Mexico,
was torched with gasoline bombs on a rural highway. The attackers
fled the scene. Earlier in the day the cult-like Knights Templar
drug cartel hung banners in a Michoacan city claiming credit for
firebombing five Sabritas distribution centers last week. The
banners accused Sabritas of letting law enforcement agents use its
trucks for transportation and surveillance.
2012 May 31, Montserrat's
Premier Reuben Meade said the island of 5,000 people is an overseas
British territory by choice and that its inhabitants do not consider
themselves to be a colony. The island is one of 7 in the Caribbean
that the UN considers colonies.
(SFC, 6/1/12, p.A2)
2012 May 31, In Nepal gunmen on
a motorbike shot and killed a Supreme Court judge in Kathmandu,
sparking fears of lawlessness amid a political vacuum. Judge Rana
Bahadur Bam was under investigation for corruption.
2012 May 31, South Korean
police said 2 people including a Korean businessman in New Zealand
were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of collecting
intelligence on military equipment for North Korea.
2012 May 31, In Nigeria an
operation to free German engineer Edgar Fritz Raupach, abducted last
January, took place in Kano. 5 people, including a woman and
Raupach, were killed in the operation. Al-Qaida in the Islamic
Maghreb (AQIM) had released a statement in March claiming they had
Raupach and demanded that German officials release Filiz Gelowicz, a
German woman convicted last year of supporting a foreign terrorist
2012 May 31, Peruvian police
arrested the mayor of a highlands town accused of promoting
anti-mining protests in which two people died this week. Mayor Oscar
Mollohuanca was among seven people taken into custody since the
emergency was announced May 21.
2012 May 31, In the Philippines
a prosecutor said a man who testified in court on the country’s
worst political massacre has been found dead "probably chain-sawed
to pieces" in a killing meant to silence other witnesses. Esmail
Amil Enog went missing in March after he spoke in court last year
about the alleged role of a powerful political clan in the November
2009 murders of 57 people. He was the 3rd witness to be killed in
(AFP, 6/1/12)(SFC, 6/1/12, p.A4)
2012 May 31, Russia’s
intelligence agency said a court has convicted Vladimir Lazar, a
reserve colonel, of spying on behalf of the US and sentenced him to
12 years in prison. Prosecutors alleged Lazar purchased a disk with
more than 7,000 images of classified topographical maps of Russia
from a collector in 2008 and smuggled it to neighboring Belarus
where he gave it to an American agent.
2012 May 31, South Sudan filed
a complaint with the UN over alleged Sudanese attacks. Juba said
attacks numbered more than 100 since November.
2012 May 31, The Geneva-based
office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says it now needs
$153.7 million for its operations this year, quadrupling its aid
appeal for Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
2012 May 31, The rebel Free
Syrian Army's command inside the country gave the president an
ultimatum to halt violence by midday June 1. Syrian forces resumed
shelling in Houla with a young boy killed by a sniper. Battles raged
as troops and rebels clashed across the country, with the
Observatory saying at least three other people were killed.
2012 May 31, In Thailand Aung
San Suu Kyi used her first foreign trip in 24 years to fight for her
Myanmar countrymen suffering abroad, millions of economic migrants
unable to work at home but vulnerable to exploitation elsewhere.
2012 May 31, In Turkey
representatives from 54 countries gathered in Istanbul for a 2-day
conference to find a path towards a better future for Somalia for
which the term "failed state" was coined two decades ago.
2012 May 31, UN chief Ban
Ki-moon, speaking in Istanbul, warned that Syria risks a
"catastrophic civil war" following the May 25 massacre that sparked
2012 May 31, Zambian
investigators arrested Andrew Banda, the oldest son of former
president Rupiah Banda, for corruption and possessing assets bought
with dirty money.
2013 May 31, In Arizona two
small planes collided near Phoenix killing all four people aboard.
(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A7)
2013 May 31, The Evangelical
Lutheran Church of America elected its first openly gay bishop to a
six-year term at an annual assembly in Southern California.
2013 May 31, Nevada's
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill to authorize driving
privilege cards for illegal immigrants in an action that is likely
to win favor in the state's large and growing Hispanic community.
2013 May 31, A 2.6-mile wide
tornado hit Oklahoma City and its suburbs with winds nearly 300 mph.
Storms and flash floods left 14 people dead. They included storm
chaser Tim Samaras, his son and another member of their team. 6
people remained missing.
(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A10)(AP, 6/1/13)(SFC, 6/4/13,
p.A4)(SFC, 6/5/13, p.A6)(Econ, 6/15/13, p.90)
2013 May 31, In Texas 4
firefighters died in a 5-alarm blaze at a restaurant in Houston.
(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A4)
2013 May 31, Central African
Republic said it has issued an international arrest warrant for
ex-President Francois Bozize, ousted in March. He has been accused
of kidnappings, murder and crimes against humanity. He is also
accused of economic crimes, including misappropriation of public
funds and corruption.
2013 May 31, China’s President
Xi arrived for a state visit to the twin-island nation of Trinidad
and Tobago, a leading supplier of natural gas. Xi planned to seek to
deepen trade and investment in energy when he meets with Trinidadian
PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
2013 May 31, The Republic of
Congo announced limits on the sale and consumption of tobacco.
President Denis Sassou-Nguesso approved the limits last July, but
the government decided to announce the decision on World No Tobacco
Day, May 31, 2013.
2013 May 31, In Egypt a bus
carrying Mexican tourists overturned in the Sinai Peninsula before
bursting into flames, killing at least six tourists.
2013 May 31, Eurostat, the EU's
statistics office, said that the unemployment rate rose to 12.2% in
April from the previous record of 12.1% the month before.
Unemployment across the 17 EU countries appeared to be on course to
hit 20 million this year.
2013 May 31, In Germany crowds
of anti-capitalist protesters, members of the Blockupy alliance,
blocked streets leading to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt,
to protest its role in pushing for austerity cutbacks as a way to
fight the continent's debt crisis.
2013 May 31, In Iraq a bomb
exploded amid Sunni worshippers leaving the Omar mosque in west
Baghdad killing 4 people and wounding 11 others. Two carloads of
gunmen attacked a security checkpoint Fallujah killing 3 policemen.
2013 May 31, In Kyrgyzstan
hundreds of stone-throwing protesters besieged the offices of the
Kumtor gold mine, owned by Toronto’s Centerra Gold, clashing with
riot police and prompting the Central Asian nation to declare a
state of emergency. Protesters wanted the mine to be nationalized
and the company to provide more benefits.
(AP, 5/31/13)(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A2)
2013 May 31, Lebanon's
parliament extended its term 17 months because of deteriorating
security conditions related to Syria's civil war. It postponed
elections from June until November 2014.
2013 May 31, Nigeria's military
and security forces said they've released 58 women and children
previously held as suspected fighters in the Islamic insurgency now
challenging the nation's government.
2013 May 31, In Peru a lawyer
said Convicted Dutch murderer Joran van der Sloot (24) is in love
and plans to marry a Peruvian woman in the prison where he's serving
a 28-year sentence.
2013 May 31, In the Philippines
an explosion in an upscale apartment in Manila killed 6 people. The
dead included the crew of a delivery van passing by that was hit by
(SSFC, 6/2/13, p.A6)
2013 May 31, Sergei Korotkov,
general director of the MiG company that makes MiG jets, told
Russian news agencies that a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to
discuss terms and deadlines of a new contract supplying at least 10
MiG-29 M/M2 fighters to Syria.
2013 May 31, A UN official said
more than 23,500 people have fled fighting in South Sudan's Jonglei
state and sought refuge in neighboring countries of Uganda (2.5k),
Kenya (5k) and Ethiopia (16k).
2013 May 31, Syrian troops
attacked a convoy trying to evacuate wounded people from Qusair,
killing at least 7. Government troops captured the village of
Jawadiyeh outside Qusair, closing all entrances leading to the town
and tightening the government's siege.
(AP, 5/31/13)(AP, 6/1/13)
2013 May 31, In Turkey riot
police used tear gas and pressurized water in a dawn raid to rout a
peaceful demonstration by hundreds of people staging a sit-in to
prevent the uprooting of trees at Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Some 5,000
people gathered in Ankara in solidarity with those in Istanbul. In
Izmir clashes broke out as thousands also marched in solidarity. The
government planned to build a replica of ottoman-era army barracks
and a mall atop the park.
(AP, 5/31/13)(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A3)(SSFC, 6/9/13,
2014 May 31, US Defense
Secretary Chuck Hagel warned an international security conference at
the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that the US "will not look the
other way" when nations such as China try to restrict navigation or
ignore international rules and standards.
2014 May 31, Sgt. Bowe
Bergdahl, the only American prisoner of the Afghan war, was freed
after Pres. Obama agreed to release five high-level Afghan detainees
from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The government of Qatar
served as the go-between in the negotiations and is taking custody
of the five Afghan detainees.
2014 May 31, San Francisco
police raided an apartment at 1831 Polk Street, the home of Ryan
Kelly Chamberlain II, and reportedly found explosives. The FBI
launched a nationwide manhunt for Chamberlain, a self-described
political junkie with a background in Bay Area public relations.
Chamberlain was arrested in SF on June 2. On June 3 the FBI said
bomb making materials were found in Chamberlain’s apartment. FBI
court filings later said Chamberlain was seeking illegal toxins on a
black market website.
(SFC, 6/2/14, p.A1)(SFC, 6/3/14, p.A1)(SFC,
6/4/14, p.E1)(SFC, 6/7/14, p.C1)
2014 May 31, In Colorado two
men died when their small plane crashed northeast of Denver near
Front Range Airport.
(SSFC, 6/1/14, p.A10)
2014 May 31, In NY Mufid
Elfgeeh, a naturalized US citizen from Yemen, was arrested after
federal prosecutors said he bought two unregistered guns from an FBI
informant. Investigators said he plotted to kill returning US troops
for American actions overseas and Shiite Muslims over the civil war
in Syria. In July a fire destroyed his boarded-up restaurant in
Rochester. In 2003 his uncle Abad Elfgeeh was arrested in Brooklyn
on suspicions of deep involvement in a terrorism network in Yemen.
2014 May 31, Lewis Katz (72), a
co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, was among 7 people killed in
the crash of his small plane in Bedford, Mass.
(AP, 6/1/14)(SFC, 6/3/14, p.A6)
2014 May 31, In Waukesha,
Wisconsin, two girls (12) stabbed their friend Peyton Leutner (12)
nineteen times in a park following a slumber party in Waukesha to
please “Slender Man," a demon-like creature they learned about on
creepypasta.wikia.com. On Aug 1 a judge ruled that one of the girls
is mentally incompetent and can’t stand trial. On March 13 a judge
ruled that both girls must stand trial as adults.
(SFC, 6/3/14, p.A6)(SFC, 8/2/14, p.A4)
2014 May 31, Isaac Patch (101),
a CIA book-smuggler, civil rights campaigner and naturalist, died.
(Econ, 6/28/14, p.82)
2014 May 31, In eastern
Afghanistan a roadside bomb killed 14 civilians after a wedding
ceremony in the Giro district of Ghazni province.
2014 May 31, Australia said
that it has banned Thailand's coup leaders from visiting and
downgraded their military ties.
2014 May 31, Some flights
between Australia and southeast Asia and all domestic flights
operating out of Darwin airport in the country’s north were canceled
after the eruption a day earlier of Sangeang Api in Indonesia’s
south produced a large cloud of ash.
2014 May 31, The Queen musical
"We Will Rock You" closed in its London home after 12 straight
years. It had played to more than 6.5 million people at the Dominion
Theatre with over 4,600 performances.
2014 May 31, In Cambodia 7
people died from a lack of oxygen after climbing down a well in
Cambodia to retrieve about 75 cents.
2014 May 31, In Central African
Republic hundreds of Muslims marched in their last major enclave in
Bangui, protesting against a call by the president that they disarm
and demanding their safe evacuation from the city.
2014 May 31, Egypt's outgoing
interim President Adly Mansour issued a decree making dishonoring
the Egyptian flag or not standing for the national anthem a criminal
offense, punishable by sentences of up to one year in prison and a
fine of more than $4,000.
2014 May 31, In southwest Egypt
smugglers killed 6 army border guards, including an officer, in a
gunbattle in in the Wadi el-Gadid province.
2014 May 31, In eastern India
lightning struck farmers working in fields, killing at least 13
people in West Bengal state.
2014 May 31, Pakistani troops
killed 16 militants following a Taliban attack on army posts in the
Bajur tribal region. Afghan officials said the airstrike along the
border reportedly killed 5 civilians. The Taliban attacked several
military posts in northwestern Pakistan after crossing over from
(Reuters, 5/31/14)(AP, 5/31/14)(SSFC, 6/1/14,
2014 May 31, In northern Russia
a helicopter crashed into a lake and 16 of the 18 people on board
were missing. Two passengers, who floated to the surface still
strapped into their seats, were rescued by fishermen and
hospitalized for treatment of broken legs and other injuries. The
helicopter belonged to the fertilizer company Apatit.
2014 May 31, In Scotland the
Edinburgh tram system finally opened to the public -- four years
late, half the size and twice the cost originally planned.
2014 May 31, In Syria at least
20 government soldiers and militia were killed in a fresh attack by
Islamist rebels, who planted explosives in a tunnel under an army
position in Aleppo.
2014 May 31, Turkish police
shut Gezi Park, the Istanbul square at the center of mass
demonstrations in 2013, to prevent any efforts to mark the
anniversary of the biggest anti-government protests in decades.
2014 May 31, In Yemen suspected
al-Qaeda militants shot dead Colonel Nasser al-Issa, an intelligence
officer, in the southern province of Lahej.
2014 May 31, Sixty migrants
from Somalia and Ethiopia and two Yemeni crew members drowned in the
Red Sea in the worst such tragedy off the coast of Yemen this year.